The Short Answer is:
While red pepper flakes aren’t poisonous to your dog they don’t add any nutritional value to his diet. You might also notice your dog having some unpleasant side effects from the heat and spice in these flakes-such as watery eyes and a touch of diarrhea.
In this research you will know the answer to the query “Can Dogs Eat Red Pepper Flakes?“.
- What are red pepper flakes?
- What makes red pepper flakes so spicy?
- What are the side effects of a dog eating red pepper flakes?
- My dog has eaten red pepper flakes what should I do?
- Can dogs eat red bell peppers?
- How are red pepper flakes used with dogs?
- Three reasons your dog might eat red pepper flakes
- Is there a dog-friendly alternative to red pepper flakes?
- How are red pepper flakes different from chile flakes?
- Can Dogs Eat Red Pepper Flakes? (Watch Video)
While red pepper flakes are not poisonous to your dog they do not add any nutritional value to his diet.
You might also notice your dog having some unpleasant side effects from the heat and spice in these flakes-such as watery eyes and a touch of diarrhea.
Keeping the two things (dogs and red pepper flakes) separate is a good idea.
What are red pepper flakes?
As far as I can tell red pepper flakes are a real heady mix of the flesh from different peppers and the seeds from different peppers.
A large portion of the mix will be seeded but there will also be crushed flesh.
Specifically I mean cayenne bell jalapeno Fresno anaheim and jalapeno peppers.
In this recipe the seeds and flesh of the cayenne pepper are the main ingredients.
Even though the exact blend of pepper flesh and seeds depends on the manufacturer the goal is to give these red pepper flakes a consistent heat level.
According to the pepper scale it is moderately hot.
What makes red pepper flakes so spicy?
All mammals are sensitive to a substance called capsaicin found in peppers and chiles
Any tissue that comes into contact with this compound will feel a burning sensation.
A peppers heat or spice is proportional to its capsaicin content.
Our brain believes that we have eaten something hot because of this chemical.
Scientists have long believed that capsaicin is a defense mechanism developed by peppers thousands of years ago to prevent them from being eaten by mammals (such as rodents).
Thus we have almost reached the end of this article!
What are the side effects of a dog eating red pepper flakes?
We all know how powerful a dogs sense of smell is but its not nearly as strong as its sense of taste.
The sense of smell of a dog is believed to be between ten thousand and one hundred thousand times better than that of humans.
With a sixth of what we have in our mouths as taste buds they have a worse sense of smell than we do.
Then what happens if your dog eats red pepper flake?
When it comes to eating spicy foods the taste is only one factor.
Dogs’ tongues may not tingle or burn like ours but a strong mixture of pepper flakes might make their eyes water. The strong acids in the flakes might turn their stomachs upside down!
My dog has eaten red pepper flakes what should I do?
There are a few things you can do if your dog has just eaten some of these flakes and is looking less than happy.
Your dog would not experience a true burning sensation if the sensation he feels isnot actual.
The tongue or stomach of your dog will not be burned but the body will respond to the capsaicin in the same way as it would to a real burn.
Your dogs heart rate might increase as a response to the stress – lets hope he has a strong and healthy heart.
Capsaicin needs to be dissolved in order to stop the burning sensation.
Though your immediate reaction might be to give your dog a fresh bowl of water this would not really help.
It is only fat that will dissolve this chemical so give your dog a small bowl of milk.
Can dogs eat red bell peppers?
I hope this research does not sound like a full-blown attack on red peppers.
It is safe for dogs to eat red bell peppers since they do not contain enough capsaicin to cause discomfort in mammals.
As I stated earlier it is likely that some of the flakes in your jar of red pepper flakes come from red bell pepper.
Rather than add heat or spice they would just add a depth of flavor and sweetness.
Therefore we can just look at the nutritional value of red bell peppers without considering any spice.
Low in calories fiber and vitamins C and B6 these peppers are low in calories.
In addition to being a good source of copper and potassium.
How are red pepper flakes used with dogs?
Red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper are used only as a repellent when used with dogs according to what I have read.
The purpose of this product is to prevent a dog from using a patch of grass or dirt as a toilet by using an organic safe and chemical-free method.
In reality it is typically used by disgruntled homeowners who are sick and tired of dogs using their land as a public toilet.
When a dog walks across a patch of grass and sniffs (in anticipation of pooping or weeing) the pepper will irritate their eyes and make them run away.
The idea is to scare the dog but if too much pepper is used dogs can end up with burns.
Three reasons your dog might eat red pepper flakes
Red pepper flakes can be eaten for many different reasons.
1. Irresponsible prank
Do you admit to watching YouTube videos of dogs doing stupid things when they appear on your Facebook feed?
A few too many drinks a few friends a loving dog and a few drinks usually follow.
I forgot to mention the bloody smartphone.
2. Accidental and naive
What do you feed your dog as table scraps?
Before tossing your dogs food do you sometimes not stop to think about what you are about to feed him?
Fido swallows that bite of pizza seasoned with pepper flakes or that leftover fish smothered in pepper flakes before you know it.
Fido reacts as if they did not enjoy that bite so you’re getting suspicious.
Thats when I realized what was happening.
3. Momentary lapse of reason
It could be that he was listening to a Pink Floyd album when he swallowed some pepper flakes.
Is this a momentary lapse of reason?
Are you sure? Then fine.
It is also possible that your dog ate some red pepper flakes because they were accidentally left out on the kitchen counter overnight or when everyone was out during the day and your dog decided to snack on them.
All of these scenarios end poorly for your dog or you for that matter.
Which raises the question what are the alternatives to red pepper flakes that are dog friendly?
Is there a dog-friendly alternative to red pepper flakes?
In reality the answer to this question is a simple no.
This spice is what makes dogs react badly to these flakes which are used in food as a spice.
There is no safe level of spice that you can choose that will make sure your dog is okay.
Pepper and mustard can cause a similar reaction in your dog as using ground pepper or crushed pepper.
You wouldnot be able to season your food with any spices if you chose any other option.
Would you be satisfied with ketchup alone for example? I do not think so.
I can only think of switching red pepper flakes for pickled gherkins and I’m grasping at straws here.
There is a level of spice and seasoning to pickled gherkins but they are also a type of probiotic that you can feed your dog.
How are red pepper flakes different from chile flakes?
Chili flakes and red pepper flakes differ in subtle ways.
To start off I want to emphasize that as far as your dog is concerned the differences between these two types of flakes do not matter- they should not be added to their diet.
The flesh of a variety of red peppers as well as their seeds is used to produce red pepper flakes.
Chile flakes typically come from a single type of chili.
I like to think of it like coffee because thats how it makes sense to me.
The coffee beans or ground coffee we buy is usually a blend- the beans come from a variety of places but then they are roasted together to create a bag of beans called a French roast or dark roast.
We call these red pepper flakes.
As far as coffee is concerned there is such a thing as single-origin coffee which is when all the beans come from the same geographic area or even the same farm.
We sell chili flakes a jar of one kind of pepper that has been dried and crushed not a blend of many different kinds of peppers (or chilies).
If you’re devoted to a certain pepper you’ll want to buy chile flakes but if you’d rather have a mixture of peppers and can discern their different flavors stick to red pepper flakes.
If you want to read more about dog food tips read here: Dog Food Tips and Tricks.